I don’t know about you, but my restaurant “to do” lists (yes, plural) are enormous. I keep various copies (sorted by location & cuisine) on my phone and desktop computer, just to remind myself that I need to venture out of my comfort zone more often. I know there’s nothing wrong with me going back to my favorite restaurants again and again, but one of the reasons I love Los Angeles so much is the availability of authentic, ethnic foods.
My go-to food critic is Jonathan Gold (L.A. Times), so it’s not surprising that he’s the source for most of the restaurants I add to my lists. When Jonathan wrote for L.A. Weekly, his “99 Essential Restaurants” guide was my foodie bible, and the only paper issue I regularly saved. Many of my food blogger (and twitter) pals come from diverse culinary backgrounds and I constantly learn about exciting (mostly strip mall) joints from them as well.
Obviously there are many wonderful places to eat in Southern California, and I cannot count how many times someone has blurted out, “WHAT? You haven’t been to (insert Sawtelle ramen house, newest pizza parlor, or a thousand other restaurants here)?”…
The simple fact is that I will never get through my restaurant lists, and that’s fine by me. It’s more fun knowing that I can plan a tasty adventure with friends anytime I’m craving it.
Photos below from:
Chung King Sichuan, Wang Xing Ji, Elite Dim Sum (Chinese)
Cafe Fusion (Taiwanese)
Chung King Sichuan (San Gabriel)
Shared with Danny (he speaks Mandarin), Remil, & Hanh
“Chung King’s brand of Sichuan cooking, sizzling with four or five kinds of chiles and smacked with the cooling, numbing sensation of Sichuan peppercorns, lies halfway between dentist’s-chair Novocain and the last time you could afford a lot of blow.” ~ Jonathan Gold
Please read Jonathan Gold’s review of Chung King
Fried Chicken Cubes w Hot Pepper at Chung King
Boiled Fish Slices in Hot Sauce at Chung King
Crispy Rice w Seafood at Chung King
Quick Fried Pig Kidney Slices at Chung King
Chinese Bacon w Garlic Sprouts at Chung King. More photos on Flickr
Wang Xing Ji (San Gabriel)
Shared with Danny, Remil, Hanh, Craig, Esther, Wes & Peter
“The first American branch of a popular dumpling house in Wuxi, a city just outside of Shanghai, offers giant pork dumplings bursting with flavor, as well as smoked fish, crab and pork buns, and spare ribs” ~ Jonathan Gold (Read full article)
Look for this Wang Xing Ji JUICY DUMPLINGS sign
Pork XLB aka Xiao Long Bao (juicy indeed!) at Wang Xing Ji
Salt and Pepper Crispy Cakes at Wang Xing Ji
Inside the Salt and Pepper Crispy Cakes at Wang Xing Ji
Hand-tossed Crispy Onion Pancake at Wang Xing Ji
Preserved Egg w Tofu at Wang Xing Ji
Juicy Pork & Crab Bun at Wang Xing Ji
My friend Hanh going for the HUGE Juicy Pork & Crab Bun at Wang Xing Ji. More photos on Flickr
Dim Sum at Elite (Monterey Park)
Meals shared with Danny, Remil, Darin, Marilyn, Wes (he speaks Cantonese) & Peter
Check out 10 Best Dim Sum Restaurant in Los Angeles by Clarissa Wei
There is usually a LONG line for dim sum at Elite, and it’s worth it.
Mushroom Dumpling with Shrimp at Elite
Silver Fish w Spicy Salt at Elite
Pork & Shrimp Shu Mai at Elite
Crispy Shrimp Rice Noodle at Elite
Macau Egg Custard at Elite
Deep Fried Dumpling with Minced Pork at Elite. More photos on Flickr
Ramayani Indonesian (Westwood)
Meal shared with Fiona (she speaks Indonesian), Hanh, Vivian & Peter
Ramayani entrance, close to Santa Monica Blvd.
Martabak: Pan-fried flour tortilla filled with beef, onion and eggs. Served with pickled vegetables at Ramayani Indonesian
Nasi Gorend: Pork Fried Rice at Ramayani Indonesian
Beef Rendang: Slow-cooked in red chili, garlic and coconut gravy at Ramayani Indonesian
Sayur Lodeh: Vegetables in coconut milk soup. (Sayur means vegetables) at Ramayani Indonesian
Ikan Bumbu Tumis: Whole pomfret smothered in a spicy lemongrass, onion, shrimp paste & tomato sauce at Ramayani Indonesian
Otak Otak: Gourmet Fish Cakes grilled in Banana Leaves at Ramayani Indonesian
Cafe Fusion Taiwanese Cuisine (Arcadia)
Meal shared with owner Arthur Chen & Eddie
Note: This meal was graciously hosted by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles. Many thanks to Amy Wang & TK Lee!
Entrance to Cafe Fusion. Note: It’s NOT really “fusion”. The owner just didn’t change the building name.
Smoked Shark at Cafe Fusion
Fresh water clams, cooked in soy sauce, lemon juice, wine, garlic & chile at Cafe Fusion.
Eel Noodles at Cafe Fusion.
Amaranth is also called Chinese red spinach
Cold Squid w Ginger Slices
Steamed Whole Black Cod w/ Taiwanese Tree Seeds. More photos on Flickr
Chung King Sichuan
1000 S. San Gabriel Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Wang Xing Ji
140 Valley Blvd., No. 211 (upstairs)
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Elite Restaurant Website
700 S Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park, CA 91754
Ramayani Indonesian Website
1777 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles , CA . 90024
(310) 477 3315
Cafe Fusion Taiwanese Cuisine
510 E Live Oak Ave., Arcadia, CA 91006
Follow Jonathan Gold on Twitter!